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10 Ways to Motivate Your Child

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What motivates your child? As a kid, I was self-motivated. I did my homework on my own. I did the things I needed to do without being reminded. I set goals for myself and achieved them. Maybe this was due to the fact that my parents were mostly uninvolved.

Some kids are self-motivated. And other kids are less motivated and need a little push here or a lot of prodding there. If you’re wondering how to motivate your child, you might automatically think of rewarding your child for every step he takes in the right direction and applying negative consequences for steps he takes in the wrong direction. In reality, the best approach is to go easy on the rewards and punishments and cultivate his internal motivation—help him to tune into the feelings of accomplishment and the pride he feels for a job well done.

To find out what motivates your child, take a look at these 10 ways to up the motivation:

1. Set Goals.goals chart

Have them set goals. Make a list of short-term goals and one for the long-term goals. Make sure the goals are reachable but require effort to obtain. And be sure you’re helping your children choose the right goals.

2. Make a Plan.

In order to reach goals, you need a plan. Help your children create a strategy for reaching their goals. Make a step-by-step plan to reach them. This printable goals chart for kids will help you get started.

3. Make Things Competitive.

Encourage healthy competition. Cheer on your child to beat another runner in a race or to take home the trophy from the spelling bee. Make competition about positivity and strength in regards to your child and never about negativity and weakness towards the competitor. Does your child shy away from competition?

4. Take Interest.

Learn about your child’s interests. Talk to your child about them and listen. It will show your children that you care and that they are free to talk to you about their interests.

Do you have a son? Here are 5 ideas for motivating boys to be more ambitious and 5 tricks for motivating boys in school.

5. Celebrate Accomplishments.reward jar

When your children accomplish their goals, let them know that you are proud of them. Celebrate these successes together. Reward your children for their hard work with our Reward Jar Coupons. But as we mentioned earlier, a sense of accomplishment is the best reward.

6. Discover Passion.

Encourage your children to discover what he or she is passionate about. It may take a few tries along the way. Support your child on the journey toward passion and urge him or her to keep going until he or she finds out what it is.

Here are ideas for how to motivate kids to read.

7. Encourage Them.

Let your children know you believe in them. Tell them how great they are going to do. Dismiss any self-doubt or fears they may have. Look over these 38 things accepting moms say and use them with your children.

8. Remain Positive.

Maintain a positive and optimistic outlook for your children. If they see fear or doubt in your eyes, they likely will lose self-confidence. Having a positive approach will brighten their outlook on a situation.

Have kids who don’t want to do school work? Try these tips for motivating kids to study.

9. Peer Pressure.

Occasionally, a little peer pressure is not a bad thing. It can push your kids to do better in school or in a sport because they want to keep up with their friends. However, watch for when the stress of peer pressure starts to become too much.

Do you have teens? Here’s How to Motivate Your Teenager to… Well, Anything and How to Motivate a Teen to Get a Job.

10. Excite Them.

Excite your children about their goals and ambitions. Show that you are excited for them, too. The positive energy and adrenaline will push them to continue their hard work and be happy with their efforts.

Try these tricks for motivating kids to exercise.

What motivates your child?

Dr. Scott Turansky is an author and speaker known for his heartfelt parenting approach. He offers moms practical, real-life advice for many of parenting’s greatest challenges and is the founder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting.


What motivates you the most?

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